Hamilton chills Butte Central with 7-run first

By Bruce Sayler
The losses would hurt for Butte Central more if they weren’t caused by growing pains.
The Maroons’ heavy-on-youth baseball team committed eight errors Tuesday while losing 13-2 to Hamilton in a Southwestern A Conference high school game played on Miners Field at 3 Legends Stadium in Copper Mountain Sports and Recreation Park.
The day was cold with temperatures in the 40s and a chilled wind blowing across the diamond shivering a good-sized crowd dressed for late-season football. However, it was baseball and the game ended after five innings on the 10-run difference rule.
“I think our kids are starting to play baseball,” BC head coach Richie O’Brien rang in positives. “Every game, though, there’ve been one or two innings when our youth has bitten us.
“But, I’m excited about the things we’re starting to do. Our defense is 10-fold better than it was when the season started. The last time we played Hamilton they pitched a combined no-hitter against us and it lasted only three innings.”
Butte Central notched two hits Tuesday in a truly better showing than the 15-0 blanking at Hamilton before the Maroons had even practiced once outside. Seven of the 10 Maroons who played Tuesday were sophomores or younger. Starting shortstop and leadoff hitter Jake Tauscher was the only senior. He and sophomore Jack Nagle (pitcher) scored the team’s runs, and sophomores Colt Hassler (third baseman) and Marquis Abad (center fielder) had BC’s hits, both singles.
Meanwhile the Broncs bucked and galloped.
“The Bitterroot Valley is seeing what we can do if we can put a full game together,” O’Brien, welcoming future endeavors and outcomes, said. “We have the potential to be dangerous.”
Hamilton is 6-3 and playing well. Coach Jason Golgoski, a former minor league standout in pro baseball, paraded four pitchers to the mound over the five innings and paced the game in a honing direction. The 7-0 start provided the Broncs immediate comfort.
Five of Butte Central’s errors befell the Maroons in the first inning while Hamilton also whacked six hits – just for good measure – in staking out the 7-0 command. A two-run single by designated hitter Atticus Southwell was the biggest blow. Cash Lawrence and Andrew Ricklefs each hit a run-scoring single and Boedy Tadvick plated another with a sacrifice fly. The other two scored on errors.
The Maroons shook it off enough to tally one of their own in the bottom of the first. Tauscher worked a leadoff walk and ran to third two outs later when Hassler poked a base hit inside the right-field line just out of reach of diving Toby DeMoss. Tauscher then sprinted home on a wild pitch.
Singles by Tyce O’Connell and Hunter Harrness resulted in another Broncs’ run in the second, O’Connell getting home on an outfield bobble.
Hamilton made it 10-1 in the fourth as O’Connell and Harrness singled again. An error moved them up and O’Connell came home on a groundout, and Harrness was in on another outfield error. The Broncs then increased their spread to 13-1 in the fifth. Two scored on wild pitches after Tadvick delivered Jackson Lubke from third with an infield hit.
BC tried to extend the game in its half of the fifth. Nagle was hit by a pitch and stole second base. Beau McGree moved him to third with a groundout. Abad’s ensuing groundout let Nagle cross the plate. Another groundout ended the game.
The loss dropped Butte Central to 0-6 and the Maroons will dust off and get ready to play again on Thursday. They are to take on East Helena in another 3 p.m. game at 3 Legends Stadium.
Hamilton 710 23x xxx – 13 13 10
Butte Central 100 01x xxx — 2 2 8
Cash Lawrence, Taylor Nead (2), Jackson Lubke (3), Toby DeMoss (4) and Elijah McNair-Neal. Jack Nagle, Jake Tauscher (4) and Gunnar O’Brien. W – Nead. L – Nagle.
HAMILTON (6-3) – Andrew Ricklefs 1-4, Jackson Lubke 2-3, Conner Ekin 2-2, Boedy Tadvick 1-3, Tyce O’Connell 3-4, Hunter Harrness 2-3, Toby DeMoss 1-3, Elijah McNair-Neal 0-0, Atticus Southwell 2-3, Cash Lawrence 1-1, Taylor Nead 0-0, Elijah Gause 0-1.
BUTTE CENTRAL (0-6) – Jake Tauscher 0-1, Gunnar O’Brien 0-3, Aiden Ossello 0-2, Colt Hassler 1-2, Treigh Hollow 0-2, Kelton Keane 0-2, Jack Nagle 0-1, Coy Campbell 0-1, Beau McGree 0-1, Marquis Abad 1-1.
Extra-base hits – none.
Runs batted in – Hamilton 7 (Tadvick 2, Ricklefs 1, Harrness 1, DeMoss 1, Southwell 1, Lawrence 1), Butte Central 0.